Venous thromboembolism prophylaxis and the impact of a thrombosis service at a Canadian level 1 trauma centre Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common and serious complication seen in patients with trauma. Guidelines recommend the routine use of pharmacologic prophylaxis; however, compliance rates vary widely. The aim of this study was to describe the clinical practice related to VTE prophylaxis in the first 24 hours after injury at our level 1 Canadian trauma centre and the impact of a thrombosis consultation service. METHODS: We performed a retrospective review of the health records of adult patients with trauma admitted between Jan. 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013. The rate of VTE was ascertained. The use of an initial prophylactic regimen, potential contraindications to prophylaxis and involvement of the thrombosis service were determined. RESULTS: A total of 633 patients were included, 459 men and 174 women with a mean age of 47.4 years. The mean Injury Severity Score was 15.8. The overall VTE rate was 2.8%. A total of 514 patients (81.2%) received VTE prophylaxis, mechanical in 302 (47.7%) and pharmacologic in 231 (36.5%) (19 patients received both types). The thrombosis service was involved in the care of 164 patients (25.9%). Patients seen by the thrombosis service were more likely to receive VTE prophylaxis than those not seen by the service (145 [88.4%] v. 369 [78.7%], p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: Compliance with VTE prophylaxis administration was suboptimal, and opportunities for improvement exist. The involvement of a thrombosis consultation service appears to improve compliance with VTE prophylaxis, and augmented use of this service may improve clinical outcomes.


  • Engels, Paul
  • Thomas, Heather
  • Coates, Angela
  • Bakry, Husham
  • Alali, Abdulaziz
  • AlGhambdi, Ahmad
  • Al-Jabri, Ahmed
  • Bugshan, Ahmed

publication date

  • December 2019